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Cat Laughing Last

Cover of Cat Laughing Last

Cat Laughing Last

Joe Grey Series, Book 7
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Fans of Lillian Jackson Braun and Rita Mae Brown and cat lovers everywhere will delight in this newest mystery featuring two furry felines on the scent of a killer.

Famous novelist Elliot Traynor is temporarily living in Molena Point. He and his wife don't have much to do with the villagers, which is fine with them since no one particularly likes Vivi. But their arrival has coincided with some peculiar happenings in the town, culminating with a botched burglary in the home of 60–something Susan Brittian. Susan is a friend to feline detectives Joe Grey and Dulcie and they aren't going to let this crime go unpunished. With whiskers twitching they investigate the crime and soon find themselves on the scent of a killer.

Fans of Lillian Jackson Braun and Rita Mae Brown and cat lovers everywhere will delight in this newest mystery featuring two furry felines on the scent of a killer.

Famous novelist Elliot Traynor is temporarily living in Molena Point. He and his wife don't have much to do with the villagers, which is fine with them since no one particularly likes Vivi. But their arrival has coincided with some peculiar happenings in the town, culminating with a botched burglary in the home of 60–something Susan Brittian. Susan is a friend to feline detectives Joe Grey and Dulcie and they aren't going to let this crime go unpunished. With whiskers twitching they investigate the crime and soon find themselves on the scent of a killer.

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Excerpts-
  • Chapter One

    The man lay facedown, bleeding into the braided rug of Susan Brittain's breakfast room, the fallen keyboard of Susan's computer dangling from the edge of her desk and dripping blood onto his face. The sliding glass doors of the large, bright room stood open, admitting a damp, chill breeze. The white shutter doors of the floor-to-ceiling cupboards had been flung back, the contents of the shelves thrown to the floor, a jumble of office supplies, boxes of costume jewelry, and ceramic dishes. Susan's prized houseplants were crushed beneath broken ceramic planters and heaps of black potting soil; every surface was dusted with soil and with clinging black powder where a plastic bottle of copier toner had burst open, the inky haze charring a blood-splattered doll and crusting the lenses of Susan's good reflex camera.

    One shoe print was incised in the toner powder but had been partially smeared away. The computer had been turned on, the program on the screen a list of eBay auction items showing photographs of each offering with its price. The time was 6:30 A.M. Susan had been gone from the house for half an hour. As the victim lay committing his blood to her hand-braided rug, across the village three seemingly unrelated events were taking place, three small dramas that might, at a future date, help construct a scenario of interest to Molena Point police -- and to one gray tomcat and his tabby lady.

    At the south side of the village, in the old mansion that housed Molena Point Little Theater, a young tortoiseshell cat prowled alone among the sets, her bright, inquisitive mind filled with wonderful questions. She was not hunting mice or snatching spiders from the cobwebs that hung in the far, high corners of the raftered ceiling. Her curiosity centered on the theater itself. She had watched the sets being built and painted, marveling at the green hills that looked so very like the real Molena Point hills over which she ranged each day. When she backed away from the sets, as the artist often did, the rolling slopes seemed nearly as huge and throbbing with light, the land running on forever along the edge of the Pacific. Only these hills didn't smell like green grass and earth, they smelled like paint. And no houses nestled among them, just scattered oaks, and wandering herds of longhorn cattle and deer and elk, from a time long past.

    "Did Molena Point truly look like this?" she whispered to the empty theater. "All wild and without people? And such big animals everywhere? Were there no little cats then? And no rabbits or gophers to hunt?"

    Every wonder that the kit had encountered in her short life had demanded vociferous response. She had to talk about each new event, if only to herself. She stood watching the hills, filled with questions, and she looked above her, too, at the ropes and props of the theater, at the catwalk where she liked to prowl, at the electrical buttons and cords that operated the various curtains, and at the overhead pulleys and lights, all complicated and wonderful. Muttering among ragged purrs, she sat admiring the set of the Spanish hacienda, with its deep windows and ornamental grills, and its broad patio with masses of roses blooming. The long, painted tables seemed very real standing about the patio with their white cloths and silver and crystal and vases of flowers, waiting for the wedding party -- for a bride and groom two hundred years dead. And the sadness of the love triangle sent a shiver through the kit, as if Marcos Romeros had just now been shot, this early dawn, as if at this moment he lay dying and betrayed.

    The kit relished the stories that humans told -- but especially she loved the ancient Celtic folklore that spoke of her own...

About the Author-
  • In addition to her popular Joe Grey mystery series for adults, for which she has received eleven national Cat Writers' Association awards for best novel of the year, Shirley Rousseau Murphy is a noted children's book author who has received five Council of Authors and Journalists awards. Two of her children's books were written in collaboration with her husband, Pat.

Reviews-
  • Cats magazine “Magical whimsy and deft writing.”
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    HarperCollins
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Cat Laughing Last
Cat Laughing Last
Joe Grey Series, Book 7
Shirley Rousseau Murphy
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